Researching the Market

What do you need to know to sell your homes?

Researching the Market


This chapter describes many questions that affordable home developers should ask about their market. The answers will help you define target markets and create or refine a product, pricing strategy, marketing messages and marketing strategies that will most closely match the target markets’ preferences. The closer the match, the more quickly and easily your homes will sell.

Your real estate development team should either already have completed a market study1 to provide rationale and parameters for embarking on a housing development strategy, or be planning to conduct one. You will want to look at the study or discuss their plans for it and build upon it with any additional research questions you have. This chapter will help you define your questions.

After providing guidance for defining research questions, this chapter will help you locate sources from which to collect data. Finally, you’ll be able to download a worksheet and a sample of a market research plan.

1  Market studies for real estate development are always advised as part of the development planning process, and usually a requirement of any grants or financing. They will generally start with some basic assumptions about the economy and the housing market and then look at general economic and demographic information in your region and target area. Next they will offer an inventory and analysis of the homeownership housing market and submarkets, providing information about comparable properties, competitive prices and features, vacancy rates, days-on-market and new developments underway.